Makeup Brushes & Acne | How Often Should You Clean Them?


If your skin is relatively breakout free, and you aren’t sharing your makeup brushes with anyone else, then washing your makeup brushes once a week should suffice. But if you are prone to clogged pores or breakouts, Jane Dudik, licensed esthetician, certified acne specialist and founder of The Acne Treatment Center in Washington, suggests following a more rigorous cleaning routine. 

If your skin is breaking out, can your makeup brush spread breakouts or cause future breakouts if it isn’t washed?
“No. Using a makeup brush will not spread your breakouts. The bacteria that are implicated in acne are a natural occurring part of your skin. They are on everybody’s skin whether you have acne or not, called p. acnes bacteria. It’s a natural part of the flora of your skin. It overgrows in the case of acne, but it isn’t a contamination like you get with an infection. Yah, you don’t want to introduce external bacteria. The external bacteria is not helpful for healing but it isn’t the root cause of acne.”

How often should makeup brushes be washed?
“Brushes need to be kept clean. We have our clients wash their brushes in baby shampoo once a week. But in the meantime you take your brush and you spray rubbing alcohol on a paper towel and then wipe the brush across that to get the dirt and germs off of it every time you use it.”

Okay, so now we know how frequently to wash makeup brushes, but how exactly should the washing be done?

Tips for cleaning:

  1. Apply light pressure. Pressing or rubbing too hard can distort the natural shape of your makeup brush compromising future makeup application.
  2. Use a gentle cleanser. Baby soap, face wash, or even a gentle body wash works well.
  3. Lay brushes flat to dry. Standing brushes upright can cause water to drip down into the wooden shaft, causing decay and damge to the wooden handle over time.

Photographed by Amy Chang

For more:

Read, “10 Foundation Application Tips For The Look Of Flawless Skin.”